This is my second update for today, so make sure you don't miss chapter 13.


Four days later, I was still in my mama's old comforter, playing old nostalgic video games and occasionally rereading my favorite dark fantasy novel. Most of the time I just munched on whatever was easy, like carrots and jerky and cold cereal. I kept my blinds closed and gave the excuse to my professors that I was sick, and did my assignments at home.

Ayako occasionally checked on me, looking concerned, but otherwise I kept my door locked and tried to be as quiet as possible.

But, come the ending of the fourth day of my self-imposed banishment, Ayako opened the door and I could hear surprise in her voice. Before I could catch the sound of the visitor, there was a pounding on my door that made me jump.

"Let me in or I'll pass out on your door."

A chill shot up my spine. "If that's the case, shouldn't you be in the hospital still?"

He snorted. "Flesh wound. Now open. I walked here with half a pint of blood still in my body and deserve a proper welcome."

Behind him, I heard Ayako make a crossed between a snicker and a whistle.

Heaving the mandatory sigh at such an invasion, I rolled to my feet and opened the door, fully aware that I hadn't dressed out of pajamas or done my hair in forever. I bathed, yeah, but that's because paths and showers were relaxing, and the smell of mom's coconut shampoo soothed me.

I glared at him with narrow eyes. He had his arm in a sling, though his black suit coat jacket covered up the bandages that most likely coated his shoulders.

"Whaddya want? I'm in the middle of physics right now."

"Are you going to let me in?"

"To my maidenly bedroom? Never. Who knows what perverted monster you're hiding beneath that grouchy face of yours."

He rolled his eyes, then looked back at Ayako sharply, who's giggles had grown to a storm.

"Oh! Sorry,sorry," she said. "I'll just make myself scarce, yeah? Mai's used up all our milk anyways."

"Moo." I grouched.

And then my professor and I were alone in the apartment. There was no real excuse to keep him out of my bedroom now.

"Fine," I just turned, leaving the door partially opened. As I made my way to my bed, I picked up my mother's comforter and curled up in it on my worn, navy blue sheets. I had abandoned my physics text book somewhere by my pillow.

He took more time than I cared for examining my room.

"It's just as you described," he said, sounding slightly surprised.

"Yes yes, now what do you want?"

He turned his eyes to me, which had blessedly healed to an almost unnoticeable light pink.

"Holing yourself up in your room isn't going to make the trauma any better," he said. "You need to get out. Keep trying to live as normally as you can."

I snorted. "Who made you boss of me?"

"I say it out of concern. I have some measure of learning in this area, and my own fair share of traumas."

"Well, I'm not you. Never could be." But since I didn't exactly dislike his presence in his room (stupid stinking crush), I pulled my blanket over my head and essentially turned myself into a mound of warm, dark Mai flesh.

I heard an all too familiar sigh before the meanie started tugging at an edge of my blanket. I hissed at him like a cat, but rather than throwing off my blanket entirely, he kicked off his shoes and crawled into the blanket cave too, which turned warm to hot.

"Fine, if you won't talk to me out there," he said softly. "Mai…I'm worried."

"That I'll go nutso and go on a killing spree?"

"No. That this will be you for the rest of your life. Hiding, frightened, unsure—and whatever else, I'm not a psychologist."

"Funny, I thought you were everything."

"Being a good parapsychologist is about knowing enough of everything, not knowing everything."

"Could have fooled me."

His smell alone had already soothed a great deal of me. Leather. Something spicy and distinctly male. Since he was already there, and because he should have expected it anyways slipping into a girls burrito cave like this, I found his lap and adjusted so I could put my head onto his thigh.

"Maybe you should stop bossing me around," I murmured, quickly growing sleepy. "And just be my pillow. You're a nice smelling pillow, it makes me feel better already." I yawned, growing heavier. "And if the campus patrol finds you snuggled up in a student's bed you'll get your just deserts for breaking in."

"I did not break in."

"'Oh, I'm gonna faint," I said in the manliest voice I could I manage.

"I was. It takes a while for the body to replace so much lost blood."

"Yeah yeah, you should probably take a nap because of that too."


But whatever he had to say was lost to me, because I had already drifted deep enough to not care. It didn't help that I had been a freaking insomniac the past few days. Blood just kept cropping into my head.

But I did register when he shifted to lay besides me, taking away my thigh pillow, and instead put a hand through my hair.

"Then, if this is what you need…"

Ahh, sleep. Finally, sleepity sleep. Nothing could hurt us here. I could smell Mom in her blanket and Naru besides me.

"Chance is gonna marry me," I mumbled, right on the edge of unconsciousness.

"Oh? You go for younger guys?"

"I promised him I would," I snuggled into the warmth which was some part of Naru I was too sleepy to classify. "If I didn't get you."

And with that, I was out.